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Sherlock loved to tease him, had ever since they were kids. Any childish name Sherlock could think of, he would call him them. Fat, ugly, mundane, boring, stupid. It hadn't been his fault, Mycroft knew this.

He had been so eager to leave, eager to go off to college and university, leave behind his stifling and borderline abusive parents.

He'd left Sherlock at home, had just gone as soon as he could. But when he returned, at birthdays and on Christmas, there would always be one new name.

Mycroft knew it was his baby brother's way of coping with his disappearance. Mycroft had been there through the bullies and the fights and the tears and then he had just been gone.

As hard as it were for an outsider to believe, the two Holmes' brothers had been exceptionally close when they were younger. It had been them against the rest of the world; against the goldfish surrounding them.

When he'd left, he had called, he emailed, he tried his hardest. But slowly they'd stopped talking, their relationship had become strained, broken.

The link between them had been broken, and Mycroft blamed himself. Only himself. Sherlock had been young and easily influenced, when he had reached high school, Sherlock had just…he'd just crashed.

Mycroft had been away for a year, and the two had only had contact a few times. When Mycroft got a call from Mummy, his stomach had dropped.

He'd been beaten up, badly, was in hospital. Mycroft had dropped everything and rushed home, rushed to his brother. He'd sat by Sherlock's unconscious form, gently brushing the black, matted curls from his face.

Sherlock had been twelve then, Mycroft nearing seventeen.

When his brother had woken, he'd told Mycroft to go.

That he was nothing, that he was fat and useless and he'd let this happen to him.

He had left.

Sherlock's words had never bothered him before.

Mummy had always been weight conscious but he hadn't, if he was hungry, he had ate. If he wanted cake, he'd have cake, he'd have whatever treats he wanted.

Something had changed that day. He started to hear his fellow students, his teachers, he started imagining that people were talking behind his back.

That they were sneering and laughing and pointing. That he was fat and he was useless and he just had to lose weight. He had to be better.

He ate nothing that night, nor the day after that.

Three days passed without anything other than water passing Mycroft's lips. He was nothing if not determined, he'd managed to go through his school day without passing out.

He spent the fourth night hunched over the toilet, throwing up water and bile before collapsing on the tiles.

When he came to, he dived for his cupboards, eating everything he got his hands on. Ravenous, starving, hungry, so fucking hungry.

Why shouldn't I eat? He's wrong, they're all wrong.

School had continued as normal except now Mycroft noticed things, things he didn't want to see.

He saw boys, he saw girls and teachers and he saw their weight. He saw what food they ate, he wondered how much he could eat without putting on any weight.

He saw students with baggy jumpers and tired faces, with plump cheeks, hunching over in pain.

Dull eyes, gaunt faces, limp hair. Disgusting. Right?

He originally thought so. But days went by and he didn't stop seeing, didn't stop imagining.

He'd heard a conversation one day, just in passing. A girl with a bright smile, her friend gushing about how much weight she looked like she'd lost.

The look on the unknown girls face was something that had always stayed with him. Radiant. Gleeful. Hopeful.

She'd been so happy, so happy that someone had noticed, that was she was doing behind closed doors was working.

Months passed and Mycroft kept up all his classes, got the best grades possible.

He'd started dieting, cutting back sugary foods, fatty foods. He ate full meals but they were healthy meals.

Mycroft still wasn't happy. He yearned for control, and so he stopped eating when he was hungry and only ate when his body was on the verge of collapse.

Many times, he'd gone past that stage and simply dropped, but still he saw no problem.

He was in far too deep to stop now. Three years and Mycroft was eating just enough to keep him alive. Just.

He was exercising constantly in between work- a /minor/ position in the government.

He'd had little to no contact with Sherlock in all that time.

Mycroft had been twenty-five, Sherlock just twenty-one when they finally saw each other again, face to face.

Mycroft had been keeping tabs on him- people, cameras. One of his men called Mycroft whilst he was in the middle of a work-out.

Sherlock was in an old abandoned flat, he looked bad, really bad. Mycroft'd changed, calmly, and got into his car, driven to the apartment.

He'd found his brother face down on a ratty old mattress, breathing ragged, his long limbs shaking.

His lids had been half open, the blue irises rolling and glazed over. He'd chuckled, a hoarse, hysterical laugh as he'd pointed.

His arm had been covered in bruises and puncture wounds, his fingers trembling as he jabbed Mycroft in the chest.

"Myc." He'd muttered, glazed eyes roaming over his brothers body.

A few seconds later, his eyes had rolled back, body jerking and twitching, lips blue and face pale.

Mycroft had rushed him to the hospital where he had spent the next week watching over Sherlock.

The youngest Holmes was thin, cheekbones pronounced, face gaunt.

Mycroft had been smaller.

He'd never admit it to anyone, not even himself that he had been proud of himself for it.

Years went by, Mycroft climbed his way up the ranks, Sherlock got off the drugs and found a job with Gregory Lestrade.

They'd had some contact, more than they had before.

Then John had come into the picture and Mycroft found that he liked him, he was good for Sherlock.

He was eating more, sleeping more, he had someone to look out for him.

Mycroft remained alone. He liked it that way. It was easier to distance himself and not get involved.

It also made it easier for him to hide his secret. His dangerous, horrible secret that a nearly comatose Sherlock had seen years ago and never mentioned again.

In fact, the quips continued. Jokes about his weight and food and cake and he wondered sometimes if his baby brother saw, if he knew and said nothing.

He wasn't sure if that saddened him or if he was grateful. But he was sure that Sherlock knew, maybe he was being stubborn or he didn't care, Mycroft did not know.

So imagine his surprise when he saw the concern in Sherlock's eyes.

Mycroft was thirty, Sherlock twenty-six now. It was sometime after the Irene Adler incident and Mycroft had gone to 221B, arms filled with folders- cases for his annoying little brother.

Gregory was there, sitting in John's armchair, the doctor at work.

Mycroft had been talking through one of the cases when the faint tingling had started up in his hands.

He'd shifted, hiding his discomfort, leaning over the table to push one of the pictures forward.

His vision was swimming, blurring, pulse beating frantically against his temples.

He swallowed hard, throat dry.

He forced himself to try and calm his breathing as he stepped back, unconsciously seeking out an armchair.

He missed, the dizziness too strong.

"Mycroft?" a pair of arms came towards him, and he instinctively stepped back.

He knew he was going to pass out, and he couldn't even make it to the chair.

How embarrassing.

His hearing faded and the darkness stole his vision as he fell.